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China Willing to Boost Oil Cooperation with Iraq
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Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said yesterday that China aims to resume and promote oil cooperation with Iraq based on equal and mutual benefit.


"Chinese companies had contracts on some projects like oil exploration and construction before the war in Iraq," Qin said in response to a question on whether Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Shahristani was visiting China, before adding that no information was available on the Iraqi minister's China visit.


"Current Sino-Iraqi cooperation simply focuses on oil trade and training programs due to the US-led war in Iraq that broke out in March 2003," he said.


According to Hussein Shahristani, the country's daily oil production had reached 2.5 million barrels, returning to the level prior to the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.


"China is willing to resume and promote oil cooperation with Iraq based on equally mutual benefits," Qin said, adding that China's interests and rights should be safeguarded and protected in Iraq.


China, the world's second largest energy consumer and producer, imported 136 million tons of petroleum last year, accounting for 6 percent of the total world trade volume of crude oil that year.


(Xinhua News Agency September 29, 2006)


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